Sydney knocked off its perch as international SMEs choose Brisbane

Brisbane has knocked Sydney off its perch as the top destination of choice for international small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) travelling to Australia, with new data revealing more than 24 per cent of bookings into Australia heading to the Sunshine State, rather than any of their interstate rivals. 


The statistics released by Corporate Traveller, the flagship SME division of the Flight Centre Travel Group, showed that Sydney was the number one arrivals point between 01 March-31 August 2022 (2.7 per cent more than Brisbane), but in the same time period in 2023, the Maroon capital has soared to the top of the list, with a 3.2 per cent margin over their Blues counterparts. 

Melbourne remained in third place in both years and made up the traditional ‘Golden Triangle’. In terms of industries travelling to the Sunshine State capital, manufacturing led the way, followed by Services, Education, Construction, and then Mining/Oil/Gas. 

Tom Walley, the Australia-based Global Managing Director of Corporate Traveller, said that Brisbane has been firmly placed on the map as one of the best places in the world for SMEs to do business. 

“Ever since the Commonwealth Games visited the Gold Coast, investment in Brisbane has taken off exponentially, with more and more major domestic and international businesses choosing to move their operations and HQs to the Sunshine State capital,” Mr Walley said. 

“It’s an incredibly exciting time for Brisbane with the city hosting the Games in 2032, the Queen’s Wharf development not too far away from completion and multiple bridges under construction that’ll boost connectivity across the city, it’s an exciting time on various fronts. 

“Even more impressive is the dramatic year-on-year increase in travel to Brisbane by SMEs, with a jump of more than 72 per cent, and that’s no coincidence that this has coincided with the rise of the ‘bleisure’ traveller who clearly wants to take advantage of what Queensland has to offer while here.” 

Brisbane Airport Corporation CEO Gert-Jan de Graaff says this latest data is good news for Queensland. 

“This is clear evidence that companies globally are viewing Brisbane as a great place to do business, and a wonderful destination to visit,” Mr de Graaff said. 

“Travel time from Asia, North America, and South Pacific is shorter to Brisbane than Melbourne and Sydney. And with Australia’s most connected domestic network, it’s easier for people from across the country to gather in Brisbane to meet overseas clients.”  

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